Mint is a highly adaptable herb that is simple to cultivate and can be used in a variety of ways in the culinary world, including in cocktails, spring rolls, desserts, and beyond! Nevertheless, even though it thrives with ease, it can quickly outgrow a confined space.
If you begin to notice small irregular leaves, a lack of new growth, or purpling and browning leaves, it may be time to repot your mint plant!
How do you repot a mint plant? Every 1-2 years, remove the mint from its current container, and plant it in fresh soil in a new container at least twice the current size. You can reduce the size of the plant to give it more container space to grow into, or divide the plant to produce multiple plants.
To better understand how to grow mint, signs it is time to repot your plant, and how to repot your plant, continue reading! You’ll soon understand the basics of repotting any plant!
Guide for Repotting Mint
Mint has a vigorous root system that grows runners that seek out the edge of the pot and will quickly begin to circle the inside. This will cause the plant to run out of space and nutrients.
Repotting your mint will give it new space and ample nutrients to grow for a few more seasons!
How To Know When To Repot a Plant
When you first plant your mint, it will begin to grow quickly in its new home, but over time, you will begin to notice that the plant begins to slow its expansion.
Look for the signs listed below for indicators that your plant needs to be repotted!
- You begin to see more roots than soil in the pot.
- It begins to grow runners that hang outside of the pot.
- The leaves will grow small or not grow at all.
- The foliage will begin to turn yellow.
Best Time of Year To Repot Mint
Mint will grow year round, but it will grow the least in the fall and winter. Most plants go into dormancy during these shorter months.
Repotting it during these months reduces the chances of the plant’s growing cycle being disturbed, and the plant will have ample space to grow when spring and summer come.
Preparations Before You Begin
You’ll most likely be repotting your mint plant after a year or two, but don’t worry — it’s easy! Follow the steps below for planting success.
1. Find Ideal Container
Choose a new container that is at least two to three times large than the one the plant is currently growing in.
Terra cotta is great for regulating moisture due to its porosity, but the container material doesn’t matter too much, so choose your favorite!
Mint doesn’t like to be in sitting water, so be sure to get a container that has drainage.
2. Select High-Quality Potting Soil
Mint is a heavy feeder but it isn’t very picky when it comes to the type of soil.
Most potting soils are made of coco-coir, vermiculite, compost, humic acid, dolomite, and other natural ingredients. The more ingredients, the more diverse the nutrient sources will be.
Find an all-purpose, organic, high-quality potting soil to ensure your mint has everything it needs to thrive! I always see great results with this soil mix — tons of nutrients, no bugs, and good water retention — everything you need!
3. Sterilize Tools & Equipment
You don’t need many tools other than clippers and a hand shovel. If your tools have been used recently, you will want to sterilize them to prevent any diseases or viruses from transferring from an infected plant.
Sterilizing using a flame or rubbing alcohol is the best option when it comes to good horticulture practices.
4. Remove Any Unhealthy Growth
Mint is extremely resilient, so it’s difficult to hurt it! Use your clippers to remove any dead stems or unhealthy yellowing shoots. Also, remove any stems with insect damage or signs of disease, and snip off any runners.
5. Lightly Prune Plant
It can help to reduce the overall height of your mint if it has grown taller than 1 foot. A light pruning will not only help to shape your plant, but it will also encourage fresh, vigorous growth.
6. Create Workspace
Easily repotting your mint begins with an orderly workspace. You’ll want all of your supplies within reach so that once you begin, you can place the mint into its new pot and get it growing as quickly as possible.
If working on an outdoor table, you may want to cover the area with newspapers to make cleaning up after you’re done fast and easy.
Set your pots directly next to each other so the soil and plant transfer easily. Fill your new pot with some soil to begin; this will help to fill the pot completely when the plant is placed inside.
How To Repot Mint
If you’ve repotted any plant, mint is no different! If you haven’t repotted a plant before, don’t worry. It’s easy! Follow the 5 steps below to help your mint plant thrive!
- Make sure the new pot you are planting into is ready for the mint plant before you begin.
- Approximate how deep the plant’s roots will be once you pull them out. Fill the new pot with some soil so the base of the stems will sit right below the opening of the pot.
- If your plant is root bound, scraping the inside of the pot with a garden shovel or knife may be necessary.
- Turn the pot sideways so you can gently remove the plant using gravity and light pulling at the base of the stems.
- Once you’re able to remove the plant, place it into the new pot.
- Adjust the soil level so the plant sits right below the top level of the pot.
- Fill in the soil around the plant. You’ll want to compact the soil slightly so the mix isn’t too airy.
- Top off the soil level, and water the mint plant well.
How To Divide Mint Plant
Mint is extremely hardy, and it is difficult to hurt beyond recovery! Once you’ve gotten your mint plant out of its old pot, follow the steps below to divide it so you have more mint plants to grow or give to friends!
Mint will grow from a small piece of its root — sometimes from a piece about an inch big. Leaving as many roots as possible intact is important to grow a strong plant quickly.
- Take the roots and begin to unweave them. The best way to do this is to take your hands and begin to wiggle your fingers in between the roots.
- Pull the loose roots apart. They should begin to untangle with some coaxing. Cut the roots you can’t untangle.
- With both thumbs on top of the plant and remaining fingers supporting the base, gently pry the mint in two. Repeat if desired to have a total of four mint plants.
- You can divide your mint plant as many times as you want. It is a good rule of thumb to leave a baseball size worth of roots to give it the best chance of growing.
Mint Growing Tips
See the list below to keep your mint happy and your supply of mint abundant!
- Fertilize the mint with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Twice a year in the spring and fall should suffice.
- Mint prefers full sun, so plant it or set it in a sunny location.
- Trim any dead, diseased, or dying shoots to help promote a healthy plant.
- Prune off flowers when they bloom to keep the plant growing tasty leaves.
- Water your mint plant at least once a week if not twice.
- If your mint becomes taller than 1 foot, cut it down to shoots about 6-8 inches tall. This will promote new growth and abundant shoots.
Why Is My Mint Plant Wilting?
Wilting could be a sign that the plant needs to be repotted! If it has fully grown into its pot, then there isn’t any soil space to hold water and nutrients.
You also may not be watering it enough. Try adding more water or watering more frequently to see if that fixes its dryness.
Why Is My Mint Plant Turning Yellow?
Since mint is such a vigorous grower, it will suck up all of the nutrients quickly, especially nitrogen.
Yellowing leaves can mean a few things, but it is the number one sign of a nitrogen deficiency. It could also be that it has run out of nutrients due to lack of space and needs to be repotted.
Mint is great for so many dishes and drinks from breakfast through dessert! Luckily, it’s easy to grow and will supply ample amounts of useable leaves if healthy.
Repotting your mint every few years will give it plenty of space and the vital nutrients it needs — and it’s easy!